Jeepneys in the Philippines have experienced both good and bad trends as of late. The Philippine motoring community, with the advent of social media, is getting more and more informed about the state of these traditional forms of public transport. There is no doubt that the jeepney is a national symbol, that Filipinos all rally behind in rush hour traffic to get to their next stop on the way to work or on the way home.
However old and environmentally polluting however, the jeep has been a mainstay on Philippine roads. Begrudgingly however, commuters have no choice but to take these forms of transport because of its low cost, at the price of safety and cleanliness. Some jeeps have become mechanically unsound, with rattling and engine vibrations permeating the cabin whenever it accelerates or decelerates. Distorted subframes and aging chassis are only partially to blame, as the workmanship in these vehicles leave something to be desired.
This won’t be the case for long however, since commercial vehicle manufacturers are already getting in on the job. These foreign brands are recreating what defines a modern jeepney in the Philippines. The government has been trying to spur the modernization of these forms of transport since 2017 with the PUV Modernization Program. Busses and jeeps that are more than 15 years old will be scrutinized and replaced with safer and more advanced machines that will efficiently and cleanly transport Filipino citizens to and from their destinations.
FOTON Motors Philippines, Inc. (FMPI) designed a vehicle to enter into the PUV Modernization program, and it features air conditioning. The F Jeep was derived from the brand’s light duty truck, the Tornado 2.4C. A Cummins diesel engine paired to a 5-speed manual transmission will haul the body with a rear chassis that is designed by Centro Manufacturing Corp. The vehicle is also Blue Energy Euro 4 compliant which is much improved from old jeeps of the past. Seating is also important, and the F-Jeep is kitted out with stainless fixed bench seats that can hold up to 24 passengers, with 16 sitting down and 8 standing up.
The F-Jeep also sports 21st century additions such as GPS navigation software, a CCTV camera, dash-cam, Wi-Fi connectivity, and an entertainment system. The Beep card is also integrated into the vehicle’s payment scheme truly modernizing almost all aspects of this version of public transport.
In support to the major development plan of the government, FOTON Philippines also aims to build a rationalized, modern, well-managed and environment-friendly transport system where drivers and operators will experience stable, adequate and dignified livelihoods through the all-new FOTON Jeepney.”
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